Dracula is a fantasy/horror novel written by Bram Stoker in 1897. It is written as a series of letters, diary entries and other log entries, telling the battle between the vampire Count Dracula and Professor Van Helsing (with the help of some other people). It is one of the most well-known horror fictions in history and defined the modern image of vampires. Although it seems unlikely, the blood-sucking, immortal, creepy vampire that is Count Dracula is (loosely) based on an actual person.
Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia was a Romanian prince who led his army to fight against the invading Ottoman Empire during the 15th century, which was expanding its reach throughout Europe at the time. He was also referred to as Vlad the Impaler due to his incredibly cruel punishment of prisoners and enemies. He would kill the victims by stabbing their bodies with spears, typically through the anus up to the mouth. He would then have the bodies hanging as a warning to others. The victims would die a slow and painful death as they were drained of blood.
Another interesting fact is that Vlad III was an expert in guerilla warfare and would frequently hide his army in trees and strike the enemy at nighttime. This earned him a legend that he was bat-like – hanging from trees and only attacking at night to drain people of their blood. It is likely that Stoker took this legend and incorporated it into his novel, making Count Dracula able to transform into a large bat.
It is fascinating to see how someone who is portrayed as a noble hero in Romania and Slavic countries is remembered as an archetypal monster in modern times. This serves to remind us that no matter what good deed we may do, the world will only focus on a certain aspect and define you by that characteristic. The world is stubborn, critical and narrow-minded. Ergo, it is a waste of time trying to convince the world that you are a certain kind of person. As long as you know what kind of person you truly are and accept it, you will be able to live a happy life.